In these tough economic times, a special effort needs to be made to lighten the mood. Call in Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network!
The very timely 4th Annual “Raising Spirits” Wine Tasting and Silent Auction was held on Thursday, October 23, 2008 at the Sanctuary Golf Course in Sedalia, to raise funds for uninsured and underinsured families in need of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. It was a perfect setting on a splendid autumn evening, with views from Long’s Peak to Pike’s Peak.
Construction near the entrance of the golf course sent patrons on a scenic detour, but that didn’t seem to hamper the turnout. Thanks go out to volunteer Emily Fine for placing signs at strategic points so drivers wouldn’t get lost!
“We pride ourselves on having the most unique and creative silent auction items,” said Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network CEO Scott Thoemke. “Spend the Day as a Firefighter” was donated by South Metro Fire District. “CSI: Douglas County” included a trip to the Coroner’s office and the Douglas County Crime lab with a DC officer. “Brewmaster for a Day” was donated by New Belgium Brewery, for those who dream of learning the ins and outs of the beer making business. Masks of Obama and McCain brought in much more than their stated value as bidding wars drove the price up.
Davidson Liquors of Lone Tree organized the vendors for the wine tasting, which included dozens of wines from all over the world. Baroness Wines included wines from Washington, California, Italy and Argentina. Republic National Distributing brought in eleven wines from familiar wineries such as Rodney Strong and Chateau St. Michelle. Per Bacco Distributing stuck with Spanish wines that were tough to pronounce but easy to drink.
Auctioneer Gary Corbett got everyone involved in the live auction, which raised thousands of dollars. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department donated four hours of firearms instruction. Other items included two African Safaris, donated by African Eyes Travel; United Airlines donated an hour in a state-of the-art flight simulator; Sanctuary Golf Course donated a golf package valued at $10,000.
The atmosphere was very festive as spirits were raised along with wine glasses in toasts to new and old friends and colleagues. And the celebration of so much money being raised lightened the mood even more.
Arapahoe and Douglas counties together are expansive and have a wide range of socio-economic levels. The general perception is that families in these two counties can afford health insurance or treatment for substance abuse, but the fact is that insurance rates in Colorado increased by nearly 100% over the last ten years. In Douglas and Arapahoe Counties alone, there are over 100,000 people without health insurance. That’s where “Raising Spirits” comes in. The money raised at this event is earmarked for people with limited resources who need mental health or substance abuse treatment.
Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network turns away hundreds of people who are in dire need of mental health support every year due to lack of funds to pay for their treatment. Generous donors tonight made it possible to provide services for people with low incomes and no health insurance.